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July 31, 2015

life | links

Spyhouse cold brew coffee - Minneapolis, MN

Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Oh my, I accidentally took a week off! Actually, I've been sick, which as I'm sure you know is disgusting in the summertime. Oh it's 90° outside? Why not raise your internal temperature & give you a sore throat? Better now? 

Thanks to you all for casting your vote in our poll the other week. Your input really is helpful! Unsurprisingly you all want more tutorials (what, from a DIY blog? That's crazy!), so keep an eye out for more how-tos coming soon. Furniture & Home Decor tutorials were strongly requested too, which is super convenient as we're currently decorating our tiny apartment. I hope to do a home-tour soon, but right now the main home-related priority lies in the hunt for a couch. Really quickly I want to postulate how ridiculous our couch requirements are, & why two months after our move we still haven't found one. Here's what we're after (any suggestions are obviously appreciated):

  1. Must be gray (figured it's be a good balance between masking white cat hair & black dog hair)
  2. Must be cheap but have sturdy fabric (oh how I'd love to drop a grand on some seating just to get the hunt over with, but once kitty claws rip into the cushioning I know I'd hate myself)
  3. Must fit through the door (wow are our doorways narrow)
  4. Must be cotton-free (have I mentioned the dog has a cotton allergy?)

So basically our couch-hunt is 75% dependent on the needs of the furry roommates - & they don't even pay rent. Ugh. 

Happy Friday, gang!

This week's links:


P.S. Heather started her fancy new job this week, which meant putting past tutorials to work & altering a bunch of button-downs. She's so business-professional now.

July 22, 2015

out & about | date by the river

Main Theatre at the riverside - Minneapolis, MN

This past weekend Heather & I went down to the riverside for a date day consisting of ice cream & a movie. Apparently all the cute things in town are happening down by the Mississippi River. Cute shops, restaurants, museums, parks, & this adorable movie theater sitting along a brick road. Here are some pictures of our fun in the sun (no seriously why is it so hot I thought this was the North what is going on).

Hanging out by the riverside
Ready for ice cream
Izzy's Ice Cream - Minneapolis, MN
Izzy's Ice Cream in Minneapolis
Gold Medal Flour - Mill City Museum
Date by the riverside


July 20, 2015

diy blackout curtains

Tutorial on making blackout curtains

After the second day of living in the new apartment it became very apparent that we were going to need curtains. Before we got here I had all these plans to hang flowing sheer window coverings, hanging nine feet high from floor to ceiling & blowing lightly in the summer breeze. Reality turned out to be different than my lofty dreaming, & after two days of letting in all kinds of natural light, Heather & I realized we were letting in all kinds of natural heat. Not having A/C on the second story of a well-insulated building means that all that light we were letting in was baking us alive. Yeah, it'll be great in the winter to have all that warmth, but not for the hot, hot summertime. Blackout curtains were in order.

Tutorial on making blackout curtains

I've told you guys before how much I love Nate Berkus (evidence here & here), so duh, I got more Berkus fabric for our curtains. The lovely lady who cut my fabric at the craft store referred to Nate Berkus as "our hometown boy," which reminded me that he's originally from Minneapolis! I promise I'm not stalking him or anything...

How to make curtains that block out light

July 17, 2015

life | links

A sunset view of Minneapolis, MN
Kayaking down the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, MN

Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Settling into our new home has be difficult at times, but mainly it's been pretty exciting. There is so much I haven't seen yet! This week we spent time exploring the outdoors rather than the inner city. Heather & I took a whole day & went kayaking down the Mississippi River & then hiked along the falls. I had two thoughts as we paddled upstream: One, Minneapolis is so lush & green & gorgeous! Two, I am totally, completely, embarrassingly out of shape. My arms still feel like jell-o.

This week's links:


P.s. If you haven't voted about what you like to see here on the blog, please do! I'm going to keep the poll open for a while so you still have time to cast your vote!

July 15, 2015

tell us what you think!

Let us know what you think of the blog - cast your vote!

Hey gang! We're approaching our 200th post (woah!), & we want to know what you think! Our readers (that's you!) are the reason this blog exists. You guys are what keep us coming up with new ideas & trying new things. You guys encourage us to be innovative & creative. Essentially, you guys rock, & we wouldn't be here without you.

While there are some facts & figures I can glean from checking the blog's stats, I want to know directly from you why you like to visit the blog. Check out the poll below to let us know what your interests are & what you look for in a blog. As always, feel free to leave a comment too!

What are your favorite types of tutorials?

Furniture & Home Decor
Recycling/Refashioning Projects
Fashion & Style
Tutorials that teach a specific skill (how to sew, crochet, etc.)
Anything with a free pattern
Quiz Maker

What is your age range?

Under 18
Poll Maker

What would you like to see more of on the blog?

More tutorials!
More about your day to day life
More free graphics (i.e. iPhone wallpapers)
More of Donut & Doria!
More tips on how to do basic crafting (i.e. how to crochet)
Please Specify:
Poll Maker

Thanks for your input!

- m.e. & Heather

July 13, 2015

simple syrup

Simple "simple syrup" recipe

I'm currently sipping on an icy cup of cold brewed coffee. I've been drinking nothing but ever since I figured out I could make it in my french press. My hope is to save myself some cash by not hitting up the myriad of local coffee shops in my neighborhood quite as frequently as I do (by frequently we're talking daily here, people). I like my iced coffee both sweet & unsweet, so to up my in-house coffee game I made a batch of simple syrup. It's great for sweetening cold coffee since regular sugar won't dissolve in cold liquids. Simple syrup is also great to have on hand since it's a common ingredient in mixed drinks. 

You're two ingredients away from homemade simple syrup

Simple syrup, as you'd expect, is simple to make. You'll need:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 water

In a saucepan, combine sugar & water over medium-high heat. Stir frequently until the sugar has completely dissolved (a.k.a. mixture is completely clear). This will take about one minute after syrup has reached medium-high heat. Let cool before using, & store in the refrigerator. 

Simple syrup recipe


Related // Add a little homemade vanilla extract to your simple syrup for some bonus vanilla flavor.

July 10, 2015

life | links

Homemade cold brew coffee

Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Summer weekends are the best - they're like mini vacations inside the vacation season! While I miss my friends & family back home, I can't tell you how awesome it is not to have to deal with mosquitoes. I'm not sure if it's because we're in the city, but I have not seen a one since moving. Hooray! I hope I'll still be this happy about relocating to the midwest come January.


Related // Make yourself a big batch of this cold-press coffee seen above for your hot summer days.

July 8, 2015

fabric appliqué patching

Patch it, don't trash it! - Fabric appliqué tutorial
DIY fabric appliqué

Here's the situation: I have this denim-ish shirt that I love & wear allthefreakingtime. It's comfy & provides just the right amount of warmth when it's chilly out. Here's how much I've worn it: it used to have a pattern on it. I have literally worn the pattern out of the fabric. Oh, & most of the blue dye. It used to be about five shades darker back in its prime. The shirt has also suffered some rips & tears. The holes are too big to sew shut or patch from the inside without it being noticeable. Rather than say "goodbye" to my favorite threads, I used one really big appliqué to hide all the rips at once. In essence, I sewed more fabric on my shirt & I'm really happy about it.

How to fix a ripped shirt with a fabric patch

I'm so glad I get to keep wearing this shirt. Oh, & I fixed it by hand, too! Partly because it was easier that way, but mostly because I wanted to sit in bed & watch House Hunters while I sewed.

How to fix a torn shirt with this fabric appliqué tutorial

Here's what I used:
  • A piece of cotton fabric
  • White thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors

Here's what I did: 

First I repaired the holes by sewing them shut with a whip stitch. It was a rough repair since the rips were so large, but the repair will keep them from getting any bigger. Next I cut a rectangle of fabric larger than the back of my shirt that I was covering. Folding the raw edges down, I pinned the fabric in place, following the original hemline of the shirt. With a straight stitch I sewed all along the edges of the fabric. Ta da!

Jazz up an old shirt with a fabric patch

Even if you have a button-down that doesn't need repair, a fabric appliqué can add a fun bit of flair.


Related // Use your awesome sewing skills to alter your pants!

July 7, 2015

before the blog

Before the blog - flash back to my art student days

I have to share this with you guys - do you ever stumble upon an old social media account or blog that you used to be a part of but totally forgot about? I love it when that happens (side note: I'm still trying to break into my old MySpace account). Before creating content for We Can Make Anything, I made my first tutorials on Tumblr. They weren't very pretty, but it's fun to look back & see how much the tutorial style has changed. The above photo is from a tutorial on how to make miniature furniture using a mold (wow that's super specific). I also did a tutorial on egg-blowing & preservation & electrical tape wiring for dollhouses (below). 

Art origins of the blog

I rediscovered my former Tumblr while sorting through old e-mails yesterday. This is such a crazy time period to live in where we can flash back to the past digitally. These tutorials are too specific to be very useful, but I'm thinking I may revisit the mold-making one & create something more versatile. Ah, memories.


Related // These tutorials are from my days as an art student - more thoughts on being an artist

July 6, 2015

french press cold brew coffee

French-Pressed Cold-Brewed Coffee

French-Pressed Cold-Brewed Coffee. That's a mouthful  (...of delicious coffee, that is).

As an avid coffee drinker, my caffeination comes in seasons. In autumn I get a hazelnut or a vanilla latte. During the winter I'm all about that peppermint mocha. Springtime is still a back & forth, but summer was made for iced coffee. Since cold-press coffee is all the rage, I decided to try making a batch of my own this weekend. Um, it's delicious. & totally not acidic, which is nice. Plus I discovered that by using my french press I was able to make a huge batch with very little effort on my part. I'm definitely seeing a lot of cold-pressed coffee in my future. 

Make coffee overnight in your french press

The amount of water & coffee I used was based on the rather large size of my french press. If you want to make a smaller batch, cut the recipe in half.

Ingredients // 
  • 3/4 cups ground coffee 
  • 4 cups cold water 
Directions // 
  1. Pour coffee grounds into bottom of french press. 
  2. Slowly add cold water.
  3. Stir thoroughly, leaving no pockets of dry coffee grounds.
  4. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 10 hours).
  5. Press the filter on the french press until all coffee is filtered. Pour into a separate container & store what you don't drink in the fridge. For extra smooth coffee, run through french press a second time. 
I like my coffee with a little bit of cream in it, & this coffee is definitely good over ice. Later in the week I'm planning on making some flavored syrups to really up my in-home coffee game. Maybe I'll finally be able to reel in my addiction to coffeehouses. 


Related // I just realized that this coffee mixed with milk & some one-step caramel sauce has the potential to be AMAZING.

July 3, 2015

life | links

Midwest Cheese Curds Stand
Gay Pride Parade in Minneapolis, MN

Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

I have a bunch of projects planned for our apartment. I've been pinning like a fiend & I'm dying to go shopping for a new couch (we finally live close to an Ikea, can I get an "amen"). Even though all I want to do is drain my bank account on materials & furniture, I've decided not to rush into any major design choices. While I pride myself in having an artistic eye, I'm new to the realm of home decor. With the last place Heather & I rented, we immediately started decorating the second we moved in, which as it turned out was a terrible idea. We picked the wrong colors & style, & then were stuck with it. This time around I'm trying to let my design choices marinate before moving forward. That being said, there is an apartment tour coming up in the near future, I'm just not sure how near. I'm so anxious to start decorating, but I'm trying to be a big girl & just wait a bit first.

Have a rad Independence Day weekend, everyone!

This week's links: 


Related // If you're gathering with friends & family this weekend, bring a gingerbread apple pie & be the most favorite guest ever.

July 2, 2015

4th of july iphone wallpapers

Independence Day iPhone wallpapers

Let me be honest with you & say that I totally forgot about the Fourth of July. How unpatriotic, I know. I got too wrapped up in Pride celebrations! Independence Day is one of my favorites, though. I like this holiday because it's the last big one until the fall season & for me it represents the epitome of summer: barbecues, beers, sparklers, & fireworks. I don't have any plans for this 4OJ since Heather & I haven't made any friends in our new city (making friends as an adult is haaaardd, you guys). However, I didn't want to miss out on the patriotism, so I whipped up a couple iPhone wallpapers which you can download below. 

To use these wallpapers, get on your phone & click the links below to open the wallpaper you want to use. Then press down on the image until you're prompted to save it. Save & set as wallpaper!

I feel an extra surge of patriotism this Fourth of July. With equal rights & privileges being given to all, I feel nothing but pride for my country. Have a safe & awesome Independence Day, everyone.


Related // Six summery DIYs for you to try.

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